US STOCKS-Wall St surges as data points to economic recovery
* U.S. factory, construction data suggests economic pickup
* Automakers gain after February U.S. auto sales increase
* Honeywell up after dropping United Tech bid
* Indexes up: Dow 1.37 pct, S&P 1.54 pct, Nasdaq 1.88 pct (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
March 1 (Reuters) - Wall Street were at session highs on Tuesday morning, led by financial and technology stocks, after strong U.S. factory and construction data suggested the economy was regaining momentum after slowing in the fourth quarter.
While manufacturing activity contracted in February, steadying new orders growth and improving inventories offered signs of stability. Construction spending in January surged to the highest level since 2007.
"Things were never as bad as we thought they were and now we're realizing it," said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network in Waltham, Massachusetts.
The encouraging data will factor into the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision, when they deliberate on further raising interest rate hikes. Continuación...